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Watercolor Portraits

Instructor: Kim Stenberg
Kim Stenberg
Kim Stenberg

In this online watercolor class, students learn to draw and paint a human face and figure. If you have always wanted to paint your beloved family members, this is the class for you. We build gradually from drawing with graphite pencil to painting a sepia value study, then finally painting a portrait in full color palette. Which colors to use for glowing skin tones is, of course, the foremost concern. How to handle the background? How to paint hair, clothes, glasses, hands, etc. will be all discussed in separate projects.

The emphasis is on capturing the likeness of the subject and, although students work on a few common projects together at the beginning of the term, they soon paint independent projects with the guidance of the instructor.

Participants get to see the instructor’s demo close-up in every class and receive on the following day a detailed, step-by-step, written explanation along with the recording link, which can be watched and rewatched. Feedback and critiques are important for a student’s growth and are provided through emails.

Wherever you are, even during a vacation, you can take this online class. Some watercolor and drawing experience are helpful, but beginners are also welcome.



For more information, contact The Art League School at 703-683-2323.

All Dates & Times

Class Supplies

Watercolor Portraits Supplies

This kit of supplies is available for purchase here, and can be shipped for a fee, or picked up curbside. The kit includes the underlined items. Please indicate in the notes section of your order if you would like to schedule curbside pick-up, or if you need your kit mailed to you. Please contact us at store@theartleague.org if you would like to purchase a selection of items different than the kit.

Watercolor Portraits, Kim Stenberg

For new students, I suggest that you buy a few things of high quality and add as you gain experience.

Underlined items are included in the supply kit available through the website.

If you are an experienced painter, please bring the things you usually use.


Buy only artist quality paints. I recommend Winsor & Newton Professional watercolor paint tubes. I also like Daniel Smith, Holbein, Schmincke, and Sennelier. You may not have heard of some of the colors; they are my favorites and are not essential. If you are a beginner, start with the colors marked with *. Try out 5ml tubes rather than 14ml ones. If you like the colors, switch to the larger tubes later.

Yellows: *Lemon Yellow (Nickel Titanite by Winsor & Newton), *Cadmium Yellow Pale, Quinacridone Gold, *Yellow Ochre (Daniel Smith)


Reds: *Cadmium Red, *Permanent Rose, *Helios Purple (Sennelier) or any Magenta,

Permanent Alizarin Crimson


Blues: *French Ultramarine Blue, *Cobalt Blue, *Cobalt Turquoise Light (Winsor & Newton) or Cerulean Blue


Orange: Cadmium Orange


Violets: Mineral Violet (Holbein) or Winsor Violet


Greens: *Sap Green


Browns: *Burnt Sienna (Daniel Smith), Piemontite Genuine (Daniel Smith)


Darks: Moonglow (Daniel Smith), Ivory Black, *Neutral Tint (Daniel Smith)


Flesh Tones: Rose Dore (Winsor & Newton), Naples Yellow Reddish (Schmincke)


White: *Artists’ Gouache Titanium/Permanent White (Winsor & Newton)


*Palette: a large plastic palette with a lid. My favorite is Mijello Fusion Air-Tight Watercolor Palette. I have the small size with 18 wells. An enameled butcher tray palette is nice too.


*Paper: Artist quality 100% cotton rag paper, *Arches 140 lb cold press pad (9” x 12”).     


Sketchbook: You will need a sketchbook to practice drawing faces.


Brushes: Winsor & Newton sable round brushes (medium and small, such as 8 and 6), a flat brush (Winsor & Newton series 995 1” or ¾”).



  1. 2 pencil*

Kneaded eraser*

Proportional divider

Uniball Signo white pen

Transfer paper (Saral, black)

Small bright oil brush* for lifting paint

Paper Towels (Viva)*

Small spray bottle*

Color Wheel

The kit includes the underlined items.

Cost is $238.47 plus sales tax of $14.31 for a Total = $ 252.78

Please contact us at store@theartleague.org if you would like to purchase a selection of items different than the kit.




How to Register

When registration is open (check the “Registration starts” date above), click the Add to Cart button to select this course. Add as many classes and workshops as you like, and then proceed to the Checkout page to complete your registration.

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